July 31, 2013
Four Rams were named to the 2013 Preseason All-Patriot League in a vote among the league coaches and sports information directors it was announced on Wednesday during the sport's Media Day at Green Pond Country Club. Running back Carlton Koonce, tight end Dan Light, wide receiver Brian Wetzel and defensive back Ian Williams are the four named to the 31-player preseason team.
In the preseason vote, the coaches and sports information directors chose Colgate to defend its 2012 title, just ahead 2011 champions, Lehigh.
The Raiders earned the top spot with 58 points and eight first-place votes, just ahead of the Mountain Hawks with 56 points and the remaining six first-place votes. Holy Cross (35), Lafayette (32), Georgetown (26) and Bucknell (15) completed the preseason rankings, which were voted on by Patriot League football head coaches and sports information directors.
Fordham was not included in the poll because it will not be able to compete for the Patriot League championship and NCAA automatic bid in 2013, and its games against League members will not count towards the final standings for either team. The Rams have been ineligible for the Patriot League title since awarding athletic merit aid to the class entering in the fall of 2010, which was against Patriot League policy. The Patriot League Council of Presidents approved in February 2012 a change in policy that allows athletic merit aid for football student-athletes that began with the class entering in the fall of 2013. The Rams will become eligible for the Patriot League Championship and NCAA automatic qualification spot beginning in the 2014 season.
Koonce, a senior who has received a plethora of preseason awards including being named to the 2013 Walter Payton Award Watch List and a preseason All-American, earned First Team All-Patriot League honors in 2012, rushing 300 times for 1,596 yards, breaking the Fordham single season school rushing mark of 1,477 yards set by Kirwin Watson in 2003. He also led the Rams with 13 rushing touchdowns and was second on the team with 48 receptions for 313 yards and two scores.
Koonce led the Patriot League and was fourth in the NCAA FCS in rushing yards/game (145.1) and had two 200-yard games in 2012, including a 250-yard contest at Columbia where he tied a Patriot League record with a 92-yard touchdown run. Koonce also led the Patriot League and was sixth in the NCAA FCS in all-purpose yards/game, averaging 173.6/contest.
Light, a junior who earlier this summer was placed on the CFPA Tight End Watch List, was named First Team All-Patriot League last fall, catching 45 passes for 388 yards on the season, ranking third on the team in receptions and fourth in receiving yards. He set career-highs last year in receptions and receiving yards with nine catches for 66 yards at Holy Cross.
Over his two years at Fordham, Light has accumulated 68 receptions for 621 yards and one touchdown.
On the year, Wetzel had seven 100-yard receiving games, including a career-best 187 yards on 14 catches in the season finale with Colgate. The 14 receptions tied the Fordham single game record while the 187 receiving yards was the seventh most in a game in school history. Wetzel now has eight 100-yard receiving games in his career, tied for fourth best at Fordham.
On special teams, Wetzel returned 31 kickoffs for 713 yards (23.0 yards/return) and 15 punts for 82 yards (5.5 yards/return). He was second in the Patriot League, and 51st in the NCAA FCS, in kickoff return average and second in all-purpose yards, behind Koonce (167.3 yards/game).
Williams, a senior was placed on the CFPA Defensive Back Watch List last month, was named Second Team All-Patriot League at defensive back last fall. He was second on the squad with 86 total tackles, including a team-high 69 solo, and two tackles for loss. Williams led the squad with five interceptions and he also had eleven pass breakups and two forced fumbles. He finished third in the Patriot League and tied for tenth in the NCAA FCS in interceptions/game (0.45) and was fourth in the Patriot League in passes defended/game (1.00) and 12th in tackles/game (7.8). Williams notched double figures in tackles three times in 2012, including a season-best 14 tackles, 12 solo, in the Lafayette.
Over his three-year career at Rose Hill, Williams has accumulated 140 total tackles, 110 solo, with two tackles for loss. He also has seven interceptions and 19 pass breakups.